Some snacks sold as finger food for babies can become choking hazards when left out of the package for a few hours. Medical researchers figured out this fact that slipped by multinational corporations -- with the simple tactic of asking adults to eat the food. Photo by Mandajuice via Visual hunt
The researchers found out that Gerber Yogurt Melts, for example, turn into tough-to-swallow marshmallows once they absorb humidity from the air. Gerber Graduates Wagon Wheels are big and scratchy, and potentially dangerous. Lest you think the researchers are overreacting, just scroll through the comments on Gerber's page for the wagon wheels. Nine of the 12 look like this:
To study the foods, the researchers asked adults to try to mash up the food in their mouth without using their teeth. Gerber's fruit and veggie pick-ups easily passed the test: They're basically soft chunks of fruits and vegetables. Cheerios, favourite cheap-and-easy snack of parents everywhere, were too hard to chew but softened quickly in the mouth.
The full results aren't published yet; the researchers just presented an overview at a Pediatric Academic Societies conference. "I would really love to encourage parents and pediatricians to try the products," study coauthor Ruth Milanaik of Cohen Children's Medical Center told Today. In other words, you don't need to wait for scientists to chew your baby's food. You can try it yourself.